Kappa Sigma Suspended for Alleged Hazing

Kappa Sigma was charged with hazing new recruits Sept. 26 and summarily suspended from UT as a result, pending the outcome of their student conduct hearing.

The organization’s pre-hearing was held Sept. 28, and all their activities on campus have been suspended until the completion of the hearing. The fraternity will likely be kicked off campus if found guilty.

Students reported seeing the fraternity marching recruits through ResCom and running in the athletic fields.

One faculty member reported seeing students tied to fences on the night in question, and a student reported seeing 10 to 15 recruits tied together running past the volleyball courts. A man also followed them on a bicycle and shouted things at them, the student reported.

Suspension for an organization on campus includes no participation in campus activities, no formal recruitment, no Student Government membership, voting, funding requests or organizational mailbox. There are also no Student Activities Office services, no membership in the interfraternity council, no fundraising, chapter meetings, social activities or inductions.

Stephanie Russell Holz, director of the Vaughn Center and Assistant Dean of Students, has stated that the University follows a firm zero tolerance policy for hazing. This means that the fraternity will be removed from UT as an organization if found responsible.

In addition, Kappa Sigma’s national headquarters may decide to revoke their charter, which would preclude them from assembling as an organization, Holz said.

Jordan Beard, President of the UT Kappa Sigma chapter, denied the allegations against the fraternity. In a statement he wrote: “The Nu-Omega chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity denies any and all allegations of violating Article VIII – Hazing, of the Student Conduct Code this past Wednesday night. The Fraternity would like to make it clear that the reports from students and a faculty member as printed in the article are unfound, and most importantly untrue. As of now, the Fraternity has attended a Judicial pre-hearing in response to the alleged charges, where it pled not guilty to the charges. An administrative board has scheduled a hearing for Kappa Sigma this upcoming week. Pending the outcome of the hearing, Kappa Sigma will issue another statement. We ask that all members of the UT community respect Kappa Sigma’s rights to privacy and due process during this period as provided for under Florida law and University Regulations.”

Mitchell Wilson, the executive director at Kappa Sigma’s headquarters said that he was unaware of any current allegations against the UT chapter.

“We will certainly investigate and take necessary action,” he said. He also noted Kappa Sigma’s zero tolerance policy.

UT’s Kappa Sigma chapter has had violations previously, though Wilson declined to comment on the particularities of previous situations beyond acknowledging that the organization has been disciplined previously.

Kappa Sigma’s UT violations date back to 2005 when an incident at the Tradewinds Hotel resulted in disciplinary action taken by the Office of Student Conduct. The fraternity pled responsible for personal abuse and the Student Conduct Board found them responsible for alcohol violations. They were suspended for a semester and had to undergo 125 hours of community service.

Please read the editorial response to student comments regarding this article.

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